January deer habitat projects

January deer habitat projects

 January deer habitat projects
January deer habitat projects

January is a big month for deer managers.  The hunting season is over and it’s time to get back to work.  January is the best time to learn from last year, and prepare for next fall (it’s coming quick).  Scouting is a big priority this time of year.  It’s also time to pull, maintain and inspect our stands.  It’s time to check our food sources and see if we are planting enough to maintain a year round deer herd.  The ground is frozen in most of the midwest, and it’s the best time of year to bring equipment across wet areas for winter discing, timber harvest, habitat projects.  It’s a lot to keep track of, and our P&Y members get emails reminding them to stay on track.  A valuable tool.  This months P&Y video tip is comprehensive overview on hinge cutting.  Learn the why’s and hows of one of the few timber projects anybody with a chainsaw can accomplish.


For those of you who have established a solid working property plan, the in depth articles and calendar based videos in the Booner package illustrate the proper way to execute and realize your dreams of a high quality, and highly huntable property.  We have identified 9 unique projects for the month of January, all geared toward optimizing your whitetail herds needs.

Welcome to the new year, and a new set of expectations for your property.  Whether you own and lease, one thing is consistent.  Everybody needs a solid working plan to realize those goals.  We are here to help, and ready to start.

Winter scouting (Dec, Jan, Feb, March, April)

January deer habitat projects

Find bedding, feeding and connecting routes

 January deer habitat projects
January deer habitat projects

If lack of snow, find rut sign

Tear apart sanctuaries


 January deer habitat projects – Remove stands (Dec, Jan, Feb)

If leaving out, we do not recommend this, loosen and remove seats

January deer habitat projects include food evaluation

Evaluating year round nutrition(Dec, Jan, Feb, March)

Gauge woody browse production

How much grain is left

How much brassicas

 January deer habitat projects – Tree dropping for browse (Dec, Jan, Feb)


Plan for undetected entrance

Forester for tree IDing

Don’t go half way

ID best mast producing trees

ID undesirable trees

Tagging trees to keep for loggers

Do it yourselfers

Know your limits

Hinge cut trees to be left

Lean/notch/angle cut

Girdle technique on large trees


Seldom heard of January deer habitat projects

Winter tillage (Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb…do fall tillage in studio at same time)

When winter tillage is the right choice for  January deer habitat projects

Over grown areas

Food plot failure

Food source depletion

Great for breaking down debris and lime

Disadvantage when any food is present

Disc (If spraying isn’t an option, repeat 5 days later)


Light Disc

Frost Seeding

Best in previously planted, low weed areas


Frost seed

Applying fert on top

Traditional planting

Best in thick grass/heavy weed areas


Light disc





Shed hunting (Jan, Feb, March)

Inspect planted food sources

What condition

Will annuals require replanting

Spring rejuvenation

Is frost seeding an option

Amount of exposed soil

Crawling weeds

How much is left

Inspect woody browse areas

Following trails

Inspecting bedding areas

Are they in good locations

Do they provide adequate cover

Is there a shortage of thick bedding areas

Providing ground cover through hinge cutting

Providing ground cover through TSI

Is there a shortage of thermal cover

10’ staggered spruce

10’ staggered cedars

White cedars

Red cedars

Are there advantageous areas to establish bedding areas

Inspect sanctuaries

Do they provide adequate cover

At least 60% ideally thick and nasty blocks w mature 50 yard wide strips

Is TSI or hinge cutting in order

Do they provide adequate woody browse

Water sources